In some ways, he was the quintessential Nigerian politician – colourful, charismatic, ebullient, cussed and never one to flee from a political battle irrespective of how pricey it’d seem like.
The late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who died of problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic at a non-public hospital in Lagos on June 25 little question left indelible imprints on the political terrain, each of Oyo State and Nigeria.
The peak of his political profession was definitely his service as Oyo State governor for 2 phrases, from 2011 to 2019.
His rise in politics was not all the time easy crusing as he was confronted together with his personal share of political disappointments and setbacks, which he confronted with dedication, braveness and fortitude.
After his election as a senator on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003, Ajimobi unsuccessfully made a bid for the workplace of Oyo State governor in 2007 because the gubernatorial flag bearer of the All Nigeria Individuals’s Celebration (ANPP).
Undaunted, he made one other bid for the workplace in April 2011 because the candidate of the Motion Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and this time, his effort was topped with success.
It’s definitely a sworn statement to his creditable efficiency as governor of the state that Ajimobi grew to become the primary occupant of the workplace to be elected for a second time period in 2015 beneath the aegis of the then newly shaped All Progressives Congress (APC).
There isn’t any doubt that he achieved this feat largely because of his broadly applauded accomplishments within the modernisation of infrastructure throughout various sectors of the state, his upgrading and beautification of the surroundings, notably in Ibadan, the state capital, and his creating an appropriate local weather for companies to thrive, thus serving to to generate jobs within the state.
No much less noteworthy was his restoration of public order and peace to the state when his administration took on and compelled ceaselessly feuding factions of the Nationwide Union of Highway Transport Staff (NURTW), who had perpetrated violence within the state with impunity, to function inside the ambit of the legislation.
Earlier than his venturing into politics, Ajimobi had recorded a meritorious and excellent profession within the personal sector that spanned a interval of almost three many years.
Born on December 16, 1949, Ajimobi had his main faculty training on the Saint Patrick’s Major College, Oke Padre, in Ibadan, and Ibadan Metropolis Council Major College, Aperin, additionally in Ibadan, whereas he had his secondary faculty training at Lagelu Grammar College, Ibadan. Thereafter, he left Nigeria in pursuit of the Golden Fleece in the USA.
He obtained his B.Sc diploma in Enterprise Administration and Finance on the State College of New York, Buffalo. He additionally bagged the Grasp of Enterprise Administration diploma in Operations and Advertising and marketing with specialisation in Finance from the Governor’s College, College Park, Illinois, USA.
Previous to his return to Nigeria, he was engaged in Buffalo, New York, as a state licensed underwriter by Equitable Life Assurance Company after the New York Insurance coverage examinations.
Armed with this strong scholastic background, he was employed as Operations Controller at Nestle Meals Plc, Nigeria and thereafter grew to become the corporate’s advertising controller.
Later, within the oil sector, he rose to grow to be Managing Director/Chief Govt Officer of Nationwide Oil and Chemical Advertising and marketing Firm, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum, Nigeria.
For a person credited with many achievements as governor of Oyo State, it’s ironical that Ajimobi didn’t reach getting his most well-liked candidate, Mr. Bayo Adelabu, of the All Progressives Congress elected to take over the baton from him in 2019.
Quite, Mr. Seyi Makinde of the opposition Individuals’s Democratic Celebration (PDP) was elected as his successor.
In the identical vein, Ajimobi’s bid to be elected senator from his senatorial district failed because the PDP additionally received the seat.
Regardless of his amiable and humorous disposition, Ajimobi’s critics accuse him of getting a pointy and unsparing tongue, and infrequently exhibiting an overbearing and illiberal disposition to his subordinates.
It’s believed that his protracted battle with the Olubadan of Ibadan, culminating in his mass coronation of 21 conventional rulers from the revered Olubadan’s area in April 2017, value he and his celebration dearly within the 2019 governorship and senatorial elections.
His administration’s demolition of a radio station belonging to the favored musician, Yinka Ayefele, in Ibadan, in the direction of the tip of his tenure as governor, additionally eroded significantly from his goodwill although the construction was ultimately rebuilt by the state authorities.
As soon as, when addressing demonstrating college students of the Ladoke Akintola College of Know-how (LAUTECH) in entrance of his workplace, Ajimobi insisted that the aggrieved college students should respect ‘constituted authority’, which grew to become a nickname by which he was humorously referred to by the general public.
Though he was appointed Appearing Nationwide Chairman of the APC on June 16, 2020, he didn’t survive the infectious illness that value him his life and prevented him from actively assuming this position.
Nonetheless, Ajimobi was a notable determine within the nation’s political life and historical past will certainly not be detached to his legacy.